Ruukki, Helsinki

Ruukki to invest 2.5 million in steel construction research

The framework agreement for a Steel Construction Excellence Center is to be signed today in Hämeenlinna, Finland. Besides Ruukki, the other parties to the agreement are HAMK University of Applied Sciences, Tavastia Vocational College, the City of Hämeenlinna, Häme Development Centre Ltd and Tampere University of Technology. The parties will jointly contribute an estimated more than € 6 million to steel construction research and teaching during the next four years.

Ruukki's aim in the project is to promote research and development and to thus strengthen competence and training in new technologies at the vocational college and university level. At the same time, the aim is to strengthen the international research network in the field. Ruukki will contribute around € 2.5 million to the steel construction research and development project during 2014-2017.

Ruukki will conclude separate cooperation agreements with actors in the Hämeenlinna region and with Tampere University of Technology to strengthen steel construction research and development. A similar agreement currently under preparation in the Seinäjoki region will be included and thus also secure continued funding for the Research Centre of Metal Structures in Seinäjoki and the research professorship in steel structures.

"Ruukki aims to increase steel construction research and development to create new competence, which it is important to ensure at all levels of education. New technologies in steel construction enable, for example, more energy- and material-efficient structures and functionalities integrated into structures," explains Toni Hemminki, Chief Strategy Officer at Ruukki.

The agreement will strengthen 15 years of partnership between Ruukki and HAMK University of Applied Sciences in the product development of coated steel sheets and in the research and testing of steel structures. New competence will be built at HAMK's Sheet Metal Centre, which will expand activities to cover an increasingly more significant share of R&D within steel construction.

Energy efficiency is one of Ruukki's strategic focus areas and Ruukki is developing energy-saving and energy-producing building products and solutions. New competences are called for as new products are brought into use. "With structurally integrated energy systems, for example, it makes sense for the fitter to be qualified to both install the system and to connect the energy-producing panels to the system. The launch of these products therefore requires the development of vocational training. Besides this, we want to promote the use of high-strength steels in construction. Use of high-strength steels can significantly reduce the amount of steel required in structures and also the carbon footprint. The diverse, wide-ranging research work needed to begin using these steels is what we are promoting through this Steel Construction Excellence Center project," explains Toni Hemminki. 

Ruukki, Helsinki